150 dusty miles

The Enfield had been left standing for a few days and was a bugger to start. Being such a simple beast, it lends itself to tinkering, and resuscitating it soon turned into an international party game which ended in a close draw: England 1, Germany 1, India 0, Japan 0

German chap kicking over an ENfield

In the process we variously asked help from Ganesh, Allah, Buddha and baby Jesus. (One advantage of worshipping a host of gods is having options should things not immediately come good, though I suppose that’s where saints come in).

It took a dusty, 150 miles to reach Jaipur and on the way a dog was killed when it ran into a truck just ahead of me.

There are many creatures sharing the highway –
Elephant (once) +easy to see, +no surprises, +/-slow
Dogs (often) not so easy to see, -unpredictable
Goats (often) +herd, +/-slow
Lambs (seldom) ++cute, -quick, -unpredictable
Cattle (v. often) +easy to see (unless you’re pulling out to overtake!), +/- slows/stationary
Camels (often) +always harnessed, +/-slow
Rats (seldom) ++small
People (very often) –very unpredictable, slow/slow/quick/quick/slow
Monkeys (see people, but more aware and not nearly so many)

Most disconcerting are the folk driving toward you in your lane. That’s kinda OK if they’re in a farm wagon and on the edge of the road, but otherwise a real no-no. Here’s the place to practise defensive riding.

On the way I daydreamt about harnessing the power of celebrity with the ubiquity of TV here and getting Jeremy Clarkson to make some road safety videos instead of twatting around all the time.


Though he’d probably still twat around

2 thoughts on “150 dusty miles

  1. As you know, my idea of enjoyable riding is smoothly swinging a quick machine around sweet bends. This isn’t that.

    Sometimes I fantasize about Lawrence of Arabia on his Brough Superior: endless discomfort, crappy roads but oodles of romance and Peter O’Toole’s good looks. Occasionally in a log jam of cheap Chinese imports and tuk tuks, it is great to have the most torque and thump away from the fray.

    So overall, not so much enjoying the actual riding. The roads so far has been too straight, dusty and hazardous. But I’m v. happy to be on a bike rather than queuing for a ticket of stuck on a coach or something and gliding through endless miles, exposed to the Indian countryside is wonderfully meditative and dreamy.

    Next week the mountains where I hope the riding will be better if the roads allow.

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